A 6.1 magnitude earthquake has hit the northern regions of Tarapaca, Antofagasta, and Atacama Desert in Chile. The earthquake hit Chile at 8:11 p.m. and created immense panic amongst people. Telephone lines were instantly flooded as people were anxious to get in touch with their family and friends.
The epicenter was located in the Atacama Desert, according to the Seismology Institute at the University of Chile. The epicenter was near the city of Calama and 1600 kilometers north of Santiago, Atacama. The hypocenter of the Chile earthquake was a depth of 125.3 kilometers underground.
The U.S. Geological Service recorded the Atacama Desert earthquake at 6.2 magnitudes on the Richter scale. This earthquake created chaos, as an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit the south central part of Chile that killed almost 500 people.
Atacama Desert is the driest desert of the world because of the rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean coast range. Atacama Desert is situated over 40600 sq. miles in northern part of Chile and is composed primarily of salt basins and sand.